JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli couple was shot dead while driving through the occupied West Bank late on Thursday and Israeli forces were searching the area for the suspected Palestinian attackers, authorities said.
The couple’s four children, aged between four-months and nine-years old, were also in the car but were unharmed when the gunman opened fire near the Jewish settlement of Itamar, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.
“Palestinian terrorists opened fire on an Israeli family car, killing both parents. Luckily, their four kids, now orphans, were unharmed,” said Ofir Gendelman, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas praised the attack as a “heroic operation carried out by resistance fighters in the West Bank”.
Tensions have been high in the West Bank, land Israel captured in a 1967 Middle East war that Palestinians want for a future state, during a period coinciding with the onset of major Jewish and Muslim holidays.
Israeli police and Palestinians have also clashed regularly at a holy site in Jerusalem, raising international concern.
Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Ali Sawafta; Editing by Louise Ireland